Emily Graves, PhD
MSI Press (2015)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Readers View (5/16)
Emily Graves was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis shortly after she completed her Bachelor’s Degree, and was told she would eventually be confined to a wheelchair. After this devastating news, she became pregnant with her only child, and soon after that, her kidneys shut down. “How to Be a Good Mommy When You’re Sick” is Emily’s journey through her chronic illness, how it impacted her and how she functioned on a daily basis, and changes she had to make in her life. It is written with total honesty with the goal in mind to help others so they can make choices if an illness strikes them.
There were so many great things about this book, but one that stands out in my mind is the author’s mantra “never apologize.” Being apologetic all the time wears one down mentally and physically. This is so true- people don’t ask for illness whether it is chronic, mental, or medical, it chooses them. One doesn’t have to explain to everyone they meet what their illness is. She also states many times throughout the book that you have to take care of yourself first before you can help or do for others. Graves also says however hard it may seem, one needs to learn to accept what is going on and any limitations that might occur as a result.
This reviewer can certainly relate to all the author is saying. As a burn survivor, I had two choices -be a victim all my life or accept what happened and focus on the things I could and can do.
The book is a guide as to what worked for the author as she shares her experiences. It will be different for every individual. Her book is not to get pity from others but to share the trials and tribulations and how she overcame many obstacles or at least learned to deal with them on a daily basis.
“How to Be a Good Mommy When You’re Sick” by Emily Graves, PhD, is a book that can be useful in many situations and should be read by family, friends, and caregivers. It truly gives one a better understanding of the life the individual is experiencing and what they are feeling on a daily basis.